Novel encephalitis caused Berlin Zoo polar bear's death | Utah resident dies of plague | View AVMA's One Health resources
August 28, 2015
Animal Health SmartBrief
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Veterinary Medicine Update
Novel encephalitis caused Berlin Zoo polar bear's death
Knut as a cub.
Knut as a cub. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Knut, the famous Berlin Zoo polar bear who died in his enclosure four years ago, succumbed to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, according to an article published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. Knut experienced brain swelling that caused him to fall into his pool, where he drowned. The autoimmune disease was identified in humans only eight years ago, and Knut's case marks the first documented in an animal. Experts said it's possible the disease could be treated in bears, as it is in humans. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (8/27), The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)/The Associated Press (8/27)
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Utah resident dies of plague
An elderly Utah resident died of plague, according to a state epidemiologist, bringing the number of US deaths caused by the disease to four this year. Utah's last known case of plague occurred in 2009. Officials urge people to avoid wild animals and fleas. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (8/28)
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Sled dogs helping teens with cancer
Sled dogs.
(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Physical activity and adventure may be one adjunct to cancer treatment for teens, according to a study published in ecancermedicalscience. Patients ages 10 to 18 in the study worked with sled dogs in Canada, caring for the animals and also riding the sleds, and they demonstrated physical and psychological improvement. "I have been dog sledding for 6 hours a day," said a 12-year-old patient named Nell. "I am very proud, and I feel so good now." Oncology Nurse Advisor online (8/27)
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Ga. man in custody after dog ingests methamphetamine
Police arrested Marty Allen Rogers after finding methamphetamine and a stolen motorcycle at his home. Authorities searched the home after a veterinarian determined that Rogers' dog, Little Guy, had ingested methamphetamine. Rogers took Little Guy to the clinic as the dog was agitated, pacing and panting. Athens Banner-Herald (Ga.) (8/26)
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(Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
The American Pet Products Association predicts that Americans will spend $60 billion on pets this year., the pet sitting services website, broke that figure down to estimate the costs associated with adopting a dog. New dog owners spend an estimated $2,858 in their first year of ownership, including veterinary care, toys, pet sitting and other expenses. "It's best to go into pet parenthood understanding the potential expenses involved so you can be prepared for whatever your dog throws at you, from Frisbees to bills," the team said. The Oregonian (Portland) (8/26)
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Got pest questions? "Dr. Flea" has answers
Kansas State University veterinarian Michael Dryden, also known as "Dr. Flea" because of his expertise in parasitology, answers owners' questions about where fleas are found, the life stages of fleas and more. He notes that dry air, not elevation, may explain why fewer fleas are found on pets at high elevations. He also says topical and oral flea prevention products available through veterinarians are safe and the best way to protect pets from fleas. (8/27)
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Dogs rescued from Katrina have happy lives now
Hurricane and Storm were rescued from life-threatening situations 10 years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane was found locked in a bathroom where he had spent a week with nothing to eat before being rescued. Storm had a broken leg and was rescued from a fenced yard. Both dogs were given food, water and medical treatment and then relocated to Ohio where two families adopted the dogs. This week, they met in a park for a happy reunion. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (8/27)
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Budget for cost overruns
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Association NewsSponsored By
New pharmacy communication resources for AVMA members
The number of clients asking for prescriptions to fill at a human pharmacy is rising, and with that comes legitimate concerns of pharmacy errors. The AVMA has received a number of messages from veterinarians whose patients have been harmed by inappropriate substitution of medications, unapproved alterations to the prescribed dosage and the use of potentially harmful ingredients. Veterinarians can play a vital role in improving the safety of prescriptions that aren't filled at their clinics, and the AVMA has developed resources to help veterinarians ensure that their patients get the medicines they need while avoiding prescription errors. Learn more about AVMA's pharmacy communication resources.
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